"I really don’t like talking about money. All I can say is that the Good Lord must have wanted me to have it." - Larry Bird

The bank is open.

Sept. 27, 1983 - Larry Bird signed a 7-year, $15 million contract with the Celtics

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Larry Bird became the highest paid Celtic at the time.

In 1983-84 the Celtics would go 62-20 and finally get back to the NBA Finals after a three year hiatus. In the final, the Celtics came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, winning their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers star Magic Johnson during this series.

"The first thing I would do every morning was look at the box scores to see what Magic did. I didn’t care about anything else." - Larry Bird

Obsessed with being the best.

Aug. 18, 1992 - Larry Bird, 35, announced his retirement from basketball

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Larry Bird had been bothered by back problems for years, and his back became progressively worse. After leading the Boston Celtics to a 29–5 start to the 1990–91 season, he missed 22 games due to a compressed nerve root in his back, a condition that would eventually lead to his retirement. He had off-season surgery to remove a disc from his back, but his back problems continued and he missed 37 games during the 1991–92 season. His past glory would be briefly rekindled, however, in a game that season in which he scored 49 points in a double-overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. During the 1992 Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bird missed four of the seven games in the series due to those recurring back problems.

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Aug. 8, 1992 - The ‘Dream Team’ won gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain

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ROSTER: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Chris Mullen, Christian Laettner.

Head coach: Chuck Daly
Assistant coaches: Mike Krzyzewski, Lenny Wilkens, P.J. Carlesimo

The Dream Team was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players. Described by American journalists as the greatest sports team ever assembled, and called by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet”, it defeated its opponents by an average of almost 44 points.

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"The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me." - Larry Bird

FYI

"We’re mirrors of each other," Johnson said. "I may smile a little bit more, but the way we play the game of basketball was exactly the same because we would do anything to win. We didn’t care about scoring points. We cared about winning the game and making our teammates better. That’s why we were able to change not only basketball but able to change the NBA, too." - Magic Johnson on Larry Bird
Magic and Bird.

"We’re mirrors of each other," Johnson said. "I may smile a little bit more, but the way we play the game of basketball was exactly the same because we would do anything to win. We didn’t care about scoring points. We cared about winning the game and making our teammates better. That’s why we were able to change not only basketball but able to change the NBA, too." - Magic Johnson on Larry Bird

Magic and Bird.

May 29, 1980 - Larry Bird beats out Magic Johnson for NBA Rookie of the Year

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Larry Bird was named NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists, and leading the Boston Celtics to a then-record 32-game improvement (29-53 to 61-21). He was also named to the All-Rookie Team, first-team All-NBA and finished third in MVP voting.

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"The key to being a good shooter is balance. Everything follows balance." - Larry Bird

From the ground up.

"I never learned anything by losing.’ - Larry Bird

Losing is for losers.

"The first thing I would do every morning was look at the box scores to see what Magic Johnson did. I didn’t care about anything else.” - Larry Bird

Everything else was irreverent.

"It doesn’t matter who scores the points, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer." - Larry Bird

Let me assist you that bucket.

"Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players." - Larry Bird

Larry Legend on leadership.

Apr. 13, 1986 - Boston Celtics end the NBA season with a 40-1 home record

In 1985–86 the Boston Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. Under head coach K.C. Jones , the Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 67–15, going 40–1 at home (37–1 at the Boston Garden, 3–0 at the Hartford Civic Center). This team is generally considered to be the best of Larry Bird's career as he won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season.

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